Cytologic examination of pancreatic juice for differential diagnosis of benign and malignant mucin-producing tumors of the pancreas

Cancer. 1994 Aug 1;74(3):826-33. doi: 10.1002/1097-0142(19940801)74:3<826::aid-cncr2820740307>;2-7.


Background: A new clinical type of pancreatic tumor, the mucin-producing tumor, has been recognized recently. However, it is not always easy to distinguish benign from malignant tumors preoperatively. In this study, three different methods of differentiating mucin-producing tumors of the pancreas were compared.

Methods: Endoscopic ultrasonography, endoscopic retrograde pancreatography, and cytologic examination of pancreatic juice were performed in 14 patients who had mucin-producing pancreatic tumors (11 carcinomas and 3 adenomas). Pancreatic juice was collected endoscopically without papillotomy.

Results: The sensitivity, specificity, and overall accuracy of endoscopic ultrasonography were 82%, 90%, and 79%, respectively; those of endoscopic retrograde pancreatography were 91%, 91%, and 86%; and those of cytologic examination were 91%, 100%, and 93%.

Conclusion: Cytologic examination of pancreatic juice was the best of these three methods for differentiating benign from malignant mucin-producing pancreatic tumors.

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma, Mucinous / diagnosis*
  • Adenocarcinoma, Mucinous / diagnostic imaging
  • Adenoma / diagnosis*
  • Adenoma / diagnostic imaging
  • Aged
  • Cholangiopancreatography, Endoscopic Retrograde
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pancreatic Juice / cytology*
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Ultrasonography